What is Somatotype?
A person’s body type — somatotype — used to be defined in simple terms: ectomorphs are thin, mesomorphs are muscular and endomorphs tend to hold onto extra weight easily. But it turns out it’s much more complicated than that. The three somatotypes also provide insight on how your hormones and nervous system react to stressors like food, exercise and macronutrients. Additionally, each body type has strengths and weaknesses that can help tailor your training to help maximize your goals.
Strengths: Long-limbed and lean. Less body weight and less strain on the body.
Weakness: Not a lot of muscle. Less protection for joints and less power.
Nutrition tip: Focus on a whole-food diet. This includes healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates.
Tailor your training: Great body type for runners. Focus on strength training to decrease injury risk and to increase muscle mass.
Strengths: Kettlebell shaped. Lots of muscle mass and strength. Less prone to injury.
Weakness: Struggles when trying to add volume to a training plan. Your body works harder because of extra muscle mass.
Nutrition tip: Focus on a mesomorph meal, which balances three macronutrients evenly: protein, fat and a complex carbohydrate (potatoes) plus vegetables.
Tailor your training: Great body type for Ironman triathlon. For track-style springing events, no change is needed. For more marathon-style endurance events, shift to bodyweight-level strength training and focus on adding volume.
Strengths: Store energy easily. Tend to hold weight easily, and can also translate weight into muscle instead of fat.
Weakness: Can add body fat more easily. Running can be difficult. Slower metabolism.
Nutrition tip: At a higher risk of under-eating. Focus on high-quality proteins and fats and get more of your carbohydrates and vegetables.
Tailor your training: Great body type for powerlifters. Add strength training to your routine to shift body composition to more muscle — it will help with running as well.
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